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Dog Caller - Arizona Sundogs Fight it Out with the Allen Americans

Arizona and Allen battled it out in three games that would determine first place in the league.

Sundogs vs Americans in a fight for top in the league
Sundogs vs Americans in a fight for top in the league
Valerie Haugh

The Arizona Sundogs played a three-game homestand against the Allen Americans Thanksgiving week and there was not a lot for the Sundogs and their fans to be thankful for.

The two teams faced-off on Wednesday and Allen struck first when the Sundogs allowed their first shorthanded goal of the season in the opening period. On the power play early in the second, Arizona forward Derek LeBlanc got his team on the board, assisted by David Schlemko and Chad Langlais. Just four minutes later, Allen would take the lead again with their own power play goal. The middle frame would be filled with penalties as the teams would collect a combined fifty-three minutes in infractions. Late in the third period, Sundogs' forward and Captain Jason Morgan would tie the game once more, assisted by Gord Burnett and Jake Hauswirth. Neither team would score in overtime, but Allen's coach and assistant coach would collect thirty minutes in penalties. In the shootout, the Americans would score once, but Jason Morgan and defenseman David Schlemko would score for Arizona and give them the 3-2 victory. The Sundogs totaled 33 shots on goal, and goalie David Brown made 24 saves on 26 shots.

Friday night would see the two teams meet again and Allen would score twice in the first period. Midway through the game, Sundogs' forward Mikael Bedard would score with his team on the power play, assisted by Chad Langlais and Ron Myer. The Americans would then take control of the game and score five unanswered goals to get the 7-1 win. The end of the second period would see fights break out around the Arizona net that resulted in Sundogs' defenseman Larocque and goalie Brown tossed from the game. Arizona had 27 shots on goal. Before being ejected, goalie David Brown turned away 11 of the 15 shots he faced, and goalie Mike Spillane finished the game with 7 saves on 10 shots.

Arizona and Allen would face-off one more time on Saturday and the Sundogs would strike first with a goal by forward Jake Hauswirth, assisted by Adam Smyth, early in the game. Just a minute into the second, and on the power play, Arizona would extend its lead with a goal by defenseman David Schlemko, assisted by goalie Mike Spillane. The Americans would score twice in the middle frame and once in the third to take the 3-2 victory. Arizona had 42 shots on goal, and goalie Mike Spillane turned away 25 of the 28 shots he faced.

Dog Bites

Seventeen games into the season; Arizona is 8-6-3 and is in 5th place.

The Sundogs' special teams currently has a 11.36% power play percentage and an 81.25% penalty kill percentage with 2 shorthanded goals scored and 1 allowed.

On 11/20 defenseman Chad Langlais signed a contract; on 11/21 defenseman Keith Wynn was placed on 7-day IR, forward Johan Ryd was moved from 7-day to 14-day IR, and forward Don Maloney Jr was waived; on 11/23 forward Ron Myers signed a contract, goalie Mike Spillane signed a 5 game contract, and defenseman Kyle Schussler was placed on 30-day IR; on 11/24 forward Don Maloney Jr signed a contract, defenseman Zack Firlotte was activated from IR, goalie David Brown was placed on 1-game league suspension, and defenseman Mario Larocque was placed on 2-game league suspension; on 11/25 goalie David Brown was activated from league suspension; on 11/26 goalie Mike Spillane was waived

On 11/27, defenseman David Schlemko left the Arizona Sundogs, taking a leave of absence, to return to Phoenix and skate with other NHL players. The leave of absence is likely to be extended if not permanent as Schlemko has moved back to Phoenix.

Forward Chad Nehring continues to lead the Sundogs in both goals (8) and points (14).

Arizona takes to the road for another tough road trip. The Sundogs play the Fort Worth Brahmas on Friday, the Allen Americans on Saturday, and the Tulsa Oilers on Sunday.